If you’re a mystery lover and haven’t heard about the New England Crime Bake writing conference, I encourage you to read on. If you do know about Crime Bake, registration opened 6 days ago and we’re already almost 1/2 full.
The conference, co-sponsored by the New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, is held each year on the weekend closest to Veterans Day. This year, the dates are Nov 9 – Nov 11 and the conference is in Dedham, MA.
Our guest of honor is thriller author Joseph Finder. His novel “High Crimes” became a movie starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. His newest novels are “Vanished” and “Buried Secrets.”
Many other best-selling authors will be teaching master classes and be on panels throughout the weekend. There are plenty of opportunities to talk with other writers about your work in progress, practice your pitch, fine-tune your query skills, and just have a wonderful time with 250 other mystery fans.
The conference theme this year is “A Deadly Business” and if you attend the banquet you can dress up (if you want) to the theme of Femme Fatales and Lady Killers. Just imagine the fun people are going to have with this on Saturday evening. It’s popular and already 50% of tickets are sold.
The conference’s Facebook page will keep you posted on the scheduling, guests, fun, and excitement. It’s a great place to ask questions or start a conversation, too.
Did I mention there will be agents and editors at the conference? Yes. Each year the conference has several literary agents and editors looking for new manuscripts. These professionals speak on panels and listen to pitches. You can sign up for a free 5-minute pitch session and get your story idea heard.
Nothing to lose, but you gain a chance to have at least a partial manuscript requested. And there’s a ‘practice your pitch’ seminar offered on Friday night to help you get your pitch where it needs to be.
If you’ve never been to this conference before, and you are writing in the mystery genre, I encourage you to check it out – and register if you’re interested. The conference sells out quickly!
If you’ve been to this conference before, please leave a comment about what you like the most about Crime Bake – yes, try to pick just one thing.
For me, I love how comfortable it is to mix and mingle with all levels of writer at this conference – from people still working up the courage to write to multi-published authors on the NYT best sellers list.
Lisa J. Jackson is an editor, writer, New England-region journalist, and a year-round ice coffee lover. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton and has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews. She is also a member and membership secretary of the New England Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinCNE). And she is excited to be this year’s Registrar of Crime Bake 2012.
Just one??? OK, this conference is a great opportunity to find people who think like you, in that “unusual” mystery writer sort of way — a place where you can feel comfortable discussing the best way to kill someone with new acquaintances in the elevator or the lobby.
That’s so true, Pat! There aren’t any sideways glances when talk of poisons, weapons, or best ways to dispose of a body pop up in conversations. And it’s okay to be enthralled and show your interest during the forensics presentations. 🙂
I suspect every answer will paraphrase Pat’s. 🙂 The good company of people with similar interests and dreams, as well as the presence of the writers who’ve inspired them.
I agree, Rhonda. I also love the fact that the conference is purposely kept small – I think it adds to the ability for writers to connect with each other and build lasting relationships.
I love the interlude of being able to focus ONLY on this craft, with all its joys and complications. Crime Bake is the ideal “working vacation” — intense, exciting, and even relaxing, because it’s all geared toward where our best work and dreams already are.
Well said, Beth. 🙂 Thanks!